A Melbourne woman found liable for “depraved” crimes of sexual slavery and rape of her housekeeper has paid what is believed to be a seven-figure settlement. A US judge in 2012 awarded the damages against Linda Howard and her husband Russell after the woman claimed they subjected her to sexual servitude and human trafficking at the US embassy compound in Tokyo. The decision has since been enforced by a Victorian judge. Known only as Jane Doe, the Ethiopian-born domestic worker said Mr Howard repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her, that his wife was complicit in the abuse and that the couple used isolation and threats of deportation to coerce her into servitude. Linda Howard has now settled a $US 3.3 million damages judgement with her former housemaid. Mr Howard — who has since died — did not contest the woman’s claim. Although his wife disputed it, she failed to comply with court orders and left the US without notice in May 2012 and did not participate further in the case.
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Newsline: Claim settled over sex abuse at US Embassy in Tokyo